Europe spot styrene trades at its lowest level since August

25 October 2012 15:28  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European spot styrene traded at its lowest level since August this year following an October deal earlier this week at $1,475/tonne (€1,136/tonne), traders said on Thursday.

The deal, which was done late on Wednesday on a free on board (FOB) Rotterdam basis, was agreed between two traders.

Although it was thought to be on the low side by some industry followers, the October bid/offer range for spot styrene moved down to $1,465-1,490/tonne, which is almost $300/tonne lower than five weeks ago when the European market was very short for prompt material.

A styrene producer said: “I think the market is very long and demand is lacklustre. There are lots of imports coming in and the market is very weak.”

Some 40,000-45,000 tonnes of styrene from the US has been fixed for Europe, according to unconfirmed reports.

Compared to September when the spot market was very busy, October spot styrene has been thinly traded.

Although traders describe this week as quiet, an industry participant viewed the market as “very interesting” following the closure of INEOS Styrenics plant in Marl, Germany last week.

Referring to the styrene market, the producer said: “It’s only dull for traders who are waiting to buy back in. If you are a producer or consumer it’s been very interesting with Marl closing down. For us it means a shift in requirements and it’s been a very exciting month.

“There has most definitely been a Marl effect and we will see it in the second half of November.”

The producer also said that its October demand for polystyrene, expandable polystyrene and latex had been the same as in September.

Another industry source said it would be returning to the market to buy but was for the moment simply “watching and waiting” for prices to come down further.

Other October spot deals that have been record this week fall in a $1,485-1,530/tonne price range.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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